Put Your Main Character into a Pit and Watch Him Devise Ways to Get Out

“Put Your Main Character into a Pit and Watch Him Devise Ways to Get Out” by Joan Y. Edwards

If you’re at the bottom of the pit, climb up. Climb using the web from Spiderman.

Fly using the cape from Superman.

Crawl around using the magnifying glass of Sherlock Holmes.

But wait, how did you or your character get to the bottom of the pit anyhow:

Was it pride that you didn’t listen to the wisdom of others in the same position?

Was it error in that you thought your GPS system would lead you to the right spot?

Was it hatred that made you blind to the pit in the first place?

Was it plain stupidity that you didn’t even look where you were going?

It could have been one, all, or none of these that caused you to arrive at the bottom of this pit.

This pit is so dark and deep that they haven’t invented a light to show you the way out.

You’re going to have to climb up and feel your way, inch by inch from the bottom all the way to the top.

You might need a hammer and metal spikes to put in the sides of the pit to climb up.

Perhaps you can think of a way out or use one of the ways mentioned above from a Super Hero or a Super Sleuth.

You are great at getting yourself into messes. You might be hesitant about putting your character into a predicament like this. However, your characters are very clever and resourceful. They will show you the way out of this pit in a short span of time. Try it. Write a paragraph telling us how you would get out of this pit. You can describe it. You can tell us how your character got there. Then let your character dig his way out (so to speak).

Thanks for reading my blog.  It’s fun to write for you.


Winners  of the contest: Linda Andersen, Margaret Fieland, and Grace Rellie.

Flip Flap Floodle, the happy little duck who Never Gives Up

Like Flip on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Flap-Floodle-Joan-Edwards/dp/1594572852/

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Sing Your Song
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright 2012 © Joan Y. Edwards

14 thoughts on “Put Your Main Character into a Pit and Watch Him Devise Ways to Get Out”

  1. Joan,

    Great post! We are good at getting ourselves into messes aren’t we? In the Bible, Joseph ends up in a pit. How did he get there? His brothers pushed him in and left him there. Slave traders pulled him out. Probably not the rescue he was counting on, but it all turned out well in the end.

    1. Dear Linda, Thanks for writing. I like the story about how Joseph ends up in a pit and slave traders pulled him out. Definitely wouldn’t have been my first choice of rescue, either. But you’re right, it did turn out well in the end. Good luck with your writing. I believe this would count as telling us a character who got into a pit and how he got out of it. You win a free pitch critique from me. Winner #2. Please email it to me. Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

      1. Joan,
        Thanks for declaring me a winner. I appreciate it. Because I have won several prizes on your blog in the past, what if you give my prize to another reader? I’d like to do that. Is that okay?

        1. Of course, it is okay. You are very generous. I appreciate your loyalty and kindness. I’ll give a prize to another lucky person who describes how their character gets into the pit and also how he gets out of it.

          Celebrate you today.
          Never Give Up
          Joan Y. Edwards

    1. Dear Karen, Thanks for saying you believe this is a great writing exercise and a good way to learn about your character. I hope it helps writers learn that it’s okay to put their characters into deeper trouble. Writers may be afraid their characters can’t handle it, but they can. Each character is saying, “I can do it. Give me a chance.”

      Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  2. What fun. Let’s see: Main character was stumbling along, writing a poem in her head, stumbled over a root and fell into the pit, which, natch, she hadn’t noticed (being too busy think up all the words that rhyme with “bloom”).

    Luckily, a large branch fell down after her, so she propped the branch against the side of the pit and shimmied up it to a convenient ledge, hauling the branch up after her. From there she was in sight of the top, so she screamed until someone came by and threw down a rope. The rope almost broke, and only the quick action of the hauler-outer saved our heroine.

    She joined a gym and went on a diet the next day.

    1. Dear Margaret, Thanks for writing a short passage about your main character falling into a pit and telling us how she go out. Fun! Fun! Fun! I love that she decided to go on a diet since the rope almost broke under her weight. Humorous! You are winner #1. You win a free pitch critique from me. Send it to me.

      Dream! Love! Laugh! Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

  3. I think the most common pit we can fall into is the one in our own mind. You know the one I mean. It’s the one that tells us we can’t do that because we’re not good enough. It’s a lie but somehow we still keep telling ourselves the same thing over and over again. To get out of the pit we simply need to close our eyes and see the inner self that can and will get the job done. Then we can open our eyes and get started.

    1. Dear Grace,
      Thanks for writing. You’re right each of us are characters who fall into the pit in our own mind. I like the way you say that we get out is to simply close our eyes and see the inner self can get the job done. You are winner number 3 of a free pitch critique. Please send it to joanyedwards1@gmail.com.
      Celebrate you.
      Joan Y. Edwards

      1. Joan,

        Thanks so much for running these little contests. I’m very excited to be named one of your winners. What are you looking for in the way of a pitch critique? Children’s or adult stories? Long or short?

        Thanks again and I look forward to working/speaking with you.


        1. Dear Grace, Thanks for writing. I’m glad you liked the contest. I like doing them. Your pitch can be 300 words or less. Children or Adult…preferably no paranormal or exotic. I wouldn’t be your best critique about that type of writing, because I don’t know anything about it. Ask me ten questions to answer about your pitch. I guess that’s it. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

          Dream! Love! Laugh! Never Give Up Joan Y. Edwards

          1. In what capacity would you be representing? Are you an editor, agent or publisher in some respect? If you like what I send, what can I expect you to do with it?

  4. I am just giving you my opinion as a fellow writer. I am not an editor or agent. I would be doing it as a prospective reader. I would just be giving you my opinion. Here’s a little information that might make you feel better or to give you confidence that I might be able to help you:

    I did a self-study of pitches and how to write them for 3 years. I did a workshop on pitches during the Catholic Conference Online. All but one person who participated in my workshop got asked to send the whole manuscript by editors. The one that didn’t get selected got asked to submit with a different manuscript next year. This particular editor had too many projects similar to the one submitted. I taught writing to elementary students for 35 years. I have a master’s degree in language arts. I’ve been in 3 or 4 critique groups for several years. I learned a lot through critiquing others works and having my own work critiqued. I’ve gone to numerous workshops at conferences in North Carolina, Colorado, and Oregon to learn more about the craft of writing. My Joan’s Elder Care Guide is being published by 4RV Publishing in 2015.

    If you’d feel more comfortable, you can send 1000 words of your manuscript. If you don’t feel comfortable with either choice at this time, it’s okay. My offer will be good for a year. I want to help you on your path to publication.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

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